Mestlin is no ordinary village. Its history shows culturally and politically specific features, that are mentioned in various reference books, encyclopedias, guide books, ... .
A village in Mecklenburg
Mestlin is a village in the middle of Mecklenburg. It's 20 km to the district town Parchim, and 45 km to the state capital Schwerin. Including the town parts Ruest, Kadow and Vimfow there live 1140 people (click on the map for a larger scale).
Mestlin is a village with a very moving history. Formative events were the Thirty-Years-War (just like for many other villages in Mecklenburg), the resettlement of the peasants to Ruest in 1833 (by which Mestlin became a pure estate village), the socialist building up of Mestlin in the fifties and sixties, and the development of Mestlin after the coming down of the wall (again just like for many other villages in Mecklenburg).
Two of the most impressive buildings in Mestlin are the church and the cultural house (picture: birds eye view of Mestlin, click on the picture for a larger scale).
There are a kindergarten and an elementary school, a combined secondary modern school and junior high school for the 400 students. The economy is formed by agricultural firms, a number of commercial institutions, small trade firms, and medical institutions, including a nursing home.
Impressive is also the number of 15 associations, in which the inhabitants of Mestlin are involved.
Mestlin in guide books
In 1857 / 1861, writes W. Raabe (publisher) in the book "Mecklenburgische Vaterlandskunde" (Wismar & Ludwigslust):
Mestlin, 1 1/4 miles to the west of Goldberg, in mountainous area, a court with a good-looking, village church with two naves, a church, a forestry, a mill, "Krug", a blacksmith, a brickyard and 240 inhabitants. The forest yard, lying alone at the border of the forest of Mestlin has 51 inhabitants. Since the peasants with small farmlands have been resettled to Ruest, the beautiful fruit gardens, that Mestlin used to be famous for, have vanished; the court itself, has of course now gained an important area of good soil.
Some years later, in 1894 it is written (second edition of the above book):
Mestlin, post station, 1 1/4 miles to the west of Goldberg, important junction of our avenue-traffic, since the four avenues from Parchim,
Crivitz, Sternberg and Goldberg unite here. To the south is the forest of the monastry of Dobbertin.
KNAURS colored KULTURFÜHRER MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN by Marianne Mehling (publisher, München: Droemer Knaur) writes in 1991:
Mestlin: village church. The building of the stately building began with the erection of the quadratic field stone choir in the middle of the 13th century, to which at the beginning of the 14th century the two-naved longhouse in brick was added. From the same time are the massive basement of the W-tower, the timber-framed tower is from the 18th century. On the inside the choir with eight-part dominical vault, in the nave ribbed vault with rosettes of clay and wood on octagonal pillars. Parts of the furnishings are among others a late-gothic triumphal cross group, the reredos (on the W-gallery) that came into being in the middle of the 17th century, and the pulpit which is from 1689 and is decorated with maniristic evangelist figures. To the south-west of the church there are a number of buildings from the fifties, that came into being with the proclamation of Mestlin to a "socialist sample village", e.g. the cultural house in neoclassical forms, school, hospital, restaurant.
In the DuMont-Art-Guide Book MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN by Bernd Wurlitzer (Köln: DuMont, 1996) is written:
The small Mestlin consists of two parts: Next to the historical village came around 1955 a so-called "socialist sample village" into being with a cultural house, school, hospital (today retirement center) and two-floor residential buildings. The two-naved gothic brick-hall-church from the 14th century with its field-stone-choir from one century earlier documents the economical wealth of the village in the middle ages. The massive west tower only received its timber-framed upper story in the 18th century. On the inside where there are high and slim pillars on an octagonal ground plan that carry the cross- ripped vault, there is a very obvious qualitative late-gothic crucifixion group among all the baroque furnishing.
Müller Großes Deutsches Ortsbuch (Wuppertal 1996/97) has the following information. One needs a second encyclopedia, to be able to understand the entry on Mestlin:
The translation: Mestlin is a municipality with 1138 inhabitants; the area code is 038727; the zip code is 19374 - Mestlin belongs to the department Mildenitz - 24 km away from Mestlin, in the district town Parchim are the district court, the inland revenue office, the health department and a train station with restricted clearance power for freight traffic - in Schwerin there is a district court, an administrative court, a social court, a labor court, and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce - the next higher regional court and the higher financial institution are in Rostock - relevant are the higher administrative court regional social court regional labor court financial court of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern - the employment office of Schwerin has a subsidiary office in Parchim - a train station with restricted clearance power for freight traffic is in Goldberg, that lies 11 km away from Mestlin (also in Mecklenburg) - the same also in Dabel, also 11 km away - Mestlin belongs to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern - we can find it on the German General Map No. 28.
Three special features, that came to my personal attention first: first of all the church in Mestlin. It is, especially since the remodelling, one of the most beautiful village churches in Mecklenburg.
Just like the devil stands by holy water, must the church of Mestlin have stood by the cultural house of Mestlin. At least as far as it refers to the 40 years of socialism in Mestlin's history. The cultural house is, in my point of view, just as much of a typical special feature as the church is. It came into being during the time when Mestlin was built up as a "sample village". Nowadays, it's hard to imagine, how important it had been in the past years.
Let me mention the soccer union "Grün Weiß Mestlin" as a third special feature. It's unbelievable how the soccer union of such a tiny village can be so dominant in Mecklenburg.
The mayor of Mestlin, Uwe Schultze (picture on the right), said: "The presentation on the internet is an investment in the future of the image of our villages!" (SVZ January 15th, 1999).
The village has prepared a website with several upto date information about Mestlin, have a look at www.mestlin.de/eng.
The municipality itself can be reached through:
Gemeinde Mestlin Herrn Schultze Marx-Engels-Platz 5 19374 Mestlin